Symptoms & Remedies Archives - Page 2 of 6 - BabyQ

Darkened Areola

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One of the changes to your skin during pregnancy is that the tissue around your nipple, called the areola, will darken.  This is absolutely secondary to the hormonal and metabolic changes that occur during pregnancy.  While the areola lightens up after pregnancy, they never go back to the color they were before you became pregnant.

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Pelvic Cramps

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Cramps are common in early pregnancy.  They come from the implantation of the embryo into your uterus.  They also occur because your uterus starts to grow fairly quickly in early pregnancy.  Frequently, these feel like premenstrual cramps.  You may experience compression type pain deep in your pelvis; it’s typically nothing to be worried about.  A good index of pain severity is whether or not the pain keeps you up at night.  If it does, that is usually the mark of more serious pain and you absolutely need to call your OB.  However, anything that is on par with the typical menstrual cramps can usually be safely ignored.

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Missed Period

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For many women, the first symptom that they are pregnant is that they miss their period.  Every month when you are not pregnant, your uterus sheds its lining so that there is a healthy surface for the embryo to become implanted when you become pregnant.  During pregnancy, this monthly cycle stops as the baby and placenta grow in your uterus.  This results in the missed period. Typically you will notice the missed period about two weeks after becoming pregnant.  It’s very important to keep track of your last menstrual period because this will help your OB predict when you are ready to deliver.   Of course, women can miss periods for a variety of reasons, only one of which is pregnancy.  Sometimes travel and stress, not eating enough, or exercising too much can make you miss a period.

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Sex Drive Changes

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Typically, women will experience a diminished sex drive during their first trimester.  In part they may feel a little bit ill with nausea.  Typically, the sex drive returns in the second trimester as you start to feel better.   Sex is certainly safe during pregnancy and it leads to increased feelings of self esteem and love.  Although the frequency of sex between partners may decrease between the second and third trimesters, it can still be enjoyed on a regular basis.  During the last trimester it is usually easier for the woman to be on top.

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Food Cravings

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Over 60% of women during pregnancy experience food cravings.  Some of this can be explained by what you need or the baby needs.  For instance, the baby really needs a lot of glucose so sweets taste especially good and in proper amounts can help nourish your child.  You need increased amounts of sodium and potassium, so salty foods and fruits and vegetables all taste good.  You may also be making up from deficits in food following significant morning sickness and nausea.  Food cravings are rarely harmful as long as you don’t skip eating a regular balanced diet or eat too much.  Satisfying food cravings should be enjoyed.

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Nausea

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Two thirds of women will experience morning sickness during their first trimester, and almost half may have morning sickness even as late as the third trimester.   Morning sickness is clearly related to your hormones.  There is limited safety information on prescription medications during pregnancy to treat this.  You can take pyridoxine or Vitamin B-6.  This is presumed safe and can be effective.  Ginger seems to settle the stomach and is also presumed safe in pregnancy.  You can get crystallized ginger at the grocery store in the spice aisle. If you feel nauseous and do not feel like eating, make sure you stay well hydrated and drink plenty of fluids.  It is not uncommon for women to lose weight during their first trimester.   It is much more important to eat adequate amounts of healthy foods during the second and third trimester.  Do not let yourself get worried if you…

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Pregnancy Mask

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Pregnancy hormones bring many changes to your body, including changes to skin appearance.  A combination of hormonal influences and changes in your body’s immune system can darken certain areas of your skin.  Your breast nipple and the aureola surrounding it become darker.  You can get a line of pigmented skin extending from your belly button to your pubic area that becomes dark.  This is called “linea nigra”.  You can also develop what is termed the “Pregnancy Mask”.   This is almost a butterfly darkening of the skin in your cheeks and across the nose.  We are not sure why this occurs, but some women also experience it on the birth control pill.  So it is clearly related to the hormones.  It is not unattractive, merely a sign of your fertility.  Enjoy your new appearance.

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Breast Changes – Enlargement, Tenderness and Sensitivity

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Breast changes are virtually universal during pregnancy.  These include, breast enlargement, increased heaviness, tenderness and sensitivity.  These prepare you for breast feeding.  Studies suggest breast feeding your baby for six months after delivery will reduce your risk of breast cancer.  Following pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts will change once more as they return to a resting phase when breast milk is no longer being produced.

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Depression

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About 10% of pregnant women will have symptoms of depression.  Diet can be a factor.  Diets low in Omega 3 fatty acids seems to make individuals more prone to depression.  Fortunately, most prenatal vitamins contain DHA also known as an omega 3 fatty acids.  Omega 3 fatty acids are also found in seafood.  Eating high quality seafoods that are low in mercury, such as farm-raised trout, or wild Alaskan Salmon, are also excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.  Vitamin D deficiency can make you feel more depressed.  Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin.  It is formed in your skin from sun exposure.  Make sure you get reasonable sun exposure during pregnancy.  If you cannot get outside regularly during the day, take 2000 units of Vitamin D a day as a pill.  Also to alleviate depression, talk to your friends and family about any issues bothering you.  Get regular exercise…

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Hemorrhoids

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Hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy.  First, in preparation for delivery your whole pelvic area is being engorged with blood and tissue fluid.  This makes gentler passage for the baby, and also protects your birth canal during delivery.  Secondly, constipation is common in pregnancy, causing you to strain more while having a bowel movement.  The combination of increased blood supply to your pelvic area and straining leads to hemorrhoids. You can reduce your odds of contracting hemorrhoids by relieving the constipation.  Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, 5 glasses of water and 3 glasses of milk a day. Eat a diet relatively high in fiber.  Look for cereals that have 6 grams of fiber or more per serving.  Consider taking a fiber supplement; eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  All this will make elimination of your stool easier and reduce your risk of hemorrhoids.

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